Canucks Copulae

Rich Lam

A somewhat frequent (we'll see how it goes ) look at nothing but the positive side of the Vancouver Canucks. Because God knows we never see a lot of THAT around Canuck Nation!

Its funny. Here at Nucks Misconduct the conversations often move in a pretty measured and only slightly irrational manner. We love the game, and our team, and of course we all know our stuff.

But by the very nature of critiquing the team or the sport, negativity inevitably creeps in. Whenever a good or bad thing happens ( like having a fantastic goaltender and another fantastic goaltender, and treating it like that's a damn problem that HAS to be solved )...well, I think everyone knows the kind of thing I am talking about.

So. Because when I was doing the game recaps, I got told I was being too positive anyhow, and just to keep the balance on the Karmic Wheel from wobbling way the heck off axis, I am going to try to be our resident Happy Wanderer. We #embracethehate here anyhow, so I am embracing this. Because, why not? Its fun.

We'll see how it goes. What can go wrong, right? ( Oh, though the title is derived from a statistical ( and linguistic ) term, and is apt, I don't profess to being a statistical professional. I just "play one on TV", so to speak. If you do know what it means, congrats . If not, here's the Wiki. You really can look up anything on the Internetz ) Plus, we both might learn something...

Sort of like these guys took a negative and turned it around ( truly my fave during last year's election. Luther rocks ) Also, a definite glove tap to the Canuck Library. You can tell the man has done it all as a labour of love, and no matter if some of the numbers aren't totally up to date. One of my go to sites. Thank you sir.

21 - That's the number of points Alexandre Burrows (3g,5A ), Henrik Sedin (3g,4A ) , and Daniel Sedin (3G,3A ) combined for in 6 games versus the Edmonton Oilers last year. Both Burr and the Canuck captain had one of those goals be a game winner as well. Now, of course, that was before the line change for this year. But they still went 4-1-1 versus the kiddies the last time the NHL played hockey.

Infinity - That is how far the rumours for whomever from the Capitals ( or Penguins, who knows? ) will travel in a very short period of time ( until a deal is announced ) after this tweet from Bob McKenzie about who was in attendance at the Capitals arena today. Right on cue, the Capitals goaltending had a rough game...

10 - The number of game winning goals the Sedins have had against the Oilers in their careers. Like most their stats, they have symmetry here too. Henrik has played more games, so his production against the team from the frozen tundra ( 70 GP, 15G, 51A, 66P, 3GWG and a +19 ) compared to Daniel's ( 66GP, 32G, 31A, 63P, 7 GWG and a +15 ) is slightly higher... but nevertheless, impressive. Sure the kids have some talent. But there is little doubt that the Wonder Twins enjoy playing against the Oil.

58 - That's the amount of hits that Kevin Bieksa has in his career versus the Canucks' next opponent, in 41 games. He also averages 22:39 versus the Oilers, and has 2 goals and 20 assists, and guess what? Both goals were game winners. For the record? I love the way Bones has changed up the pairings, with Bieksa with Jason Garrison. Hamhuis gives Edler more freedom, much like Sami Salo used to. Personally, even though I am overall happy about those two pairings, I think the best pairing by this fan's eye has been Chis "Cool" Tanev and Keith Ballard.

3 - The number of short handed goals Alexandre Burrows has in his 45 career games versus the Oil. With 2 of his 13 goals ( in addition to 14 assists ) against them coming on the power play, and 2 of them also being game winners, it seems Burr' is always up for this Northwest division rival. He will have to watch out on the penalties, as he also has 71 career PIM taken. His ability to play defense and adapt as a centre has been an interesting highlight of this unique season. With Ryan Kesler traveling but not playing with the team, that experiment may come to an end soon. But if there is a "feeling" allowed in talking about numbers, I am going to predict a big game from the Pincourt, Quebec native on Monday.

4 - As in the fourth straight start for Roberto Luongo according to TEAM 1040 today. With a .944 save % and a 1.46 GAA so far this season, and a pretty decent .916 save % and 2.27 in 36 games against this particular opponent, colour me not surprised. Its hockey common sense to ride the hot goalie. Let us just enjoy him while he is still here, and smile when the "LUUUUUUUUUUU's" echo through Northlands tomorrow.

Canuck Numbers Through the Years :

7 - There have been many players wear #7 for the Vancouver hockey club, but for me, the guy that will always come to mind is Andre Boudrias ( sorry Cliff Ronning, you come second here, with Brendan Morrison picking up the bronze ) Check his stats here. Might I direct your view to that shooting % ? Three times he was over 10%, and in 72/73 , the 5'8", 165 lb left winger shot 15.5 %, scored 30 goals and had 70 pts.

For a kid who needed to add to the pantheon of hockey heroes that had far too many Bruins in the era of Orr and Esposito, "Superpest" was it. There were others on those teams, of course. Orland Kurtenbach was as tough as they come with talent, but he was 6'2" and had a well earned rep for being a physical player. Boudrias was fearless. He would go into the scoring area in an era when the physical abuse was, shall we say, "let go" more. The one time captain of an expansion team was loved by the fans at the Pacific Coliseum as much for his scoring talents as he was for his ability to draw penalties, hit "above his weight", and always give it 100 %.

I can still remember how he would antagonize guys far above his weight class. While he never fought while in Vancouver ( he only had 2 fights in his entire career, both in 67/68 versus the Flyers while he was a North Star ), he probably was the reason for a few. Some may not like that. I loved it. Andre Boudrias got people off their games and was a complete player. While he was a top scorer ( he led the team in scoring in 4 of his 5 years, and only trailed Bobby Schmautz by a point in the other ) he was a solid defensive player because he was fast and an excellent forechecker. It was his team record for assists at 62 that Henrik Sedin broke, and Superpest was named team captain after leading the Canucks to their first ever playoff appearance in 1975. Read more about him here.

So, there you go. Next time we'll see some interesting numbers against the ( " yawn " ) Wild.

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